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[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] reported [press release] on Friday that it found evidence supporting that the Chicago Police Department (CPD) [official website] engages in a pattern of using force, including deadly force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The DOJ reported that CPD officers unnecessarily endanger themselves resulting in the use of unnecessary force. According to the DOJ, a lack of adequate training and accountability cause the pattern of force. Attorney General Loretta Lynch [official website] stated:
One of my highest priorities as Attorney General has been to ensure that every American enjoys police protection that is lawful, responsive, and transparent. Sadly, our thorough investigation into the CPD found that far too many residents of this proud city have not received that kind of policing. The resulting deficit in trust and accountability is not just bad for residents—it's also bad for dedicated police officers trying to do their jobs safely and effectively.
Both the city of Chicago [official website] and the DOJ have signed an agreement to work together to engage the community and create a consent decree addressing the deficiencies found during the investigation, which will be reviewed by an independent monitor.
The DOJ announced [JURIST report] last year that it would be opening a full investigation into the CPD following the release of a 2014 squad car dashboard video showing officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. Recently, police use of force has been a controversial issue across the US. In October three former detainees filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against the City of Chicago and a number of Chicago police officers for alleged abuse at an "off the books" detention center. In September a Ferguson, Missouri, reform panel released a report calling for the consolidation of police departments [JURIST report] and municipal courts. Also that month Baltimore City Circuit Judge Barry Williams rejected motions [JURIST report] to drop charges against six police officers implicated in the case of Freddie Gray, a black man who was injured in police custody and later died. The American Civil Liberties Union also published a report [JURIST report] arguing that increased militarization of police forces is putting citizens at risk rather than protecting them.
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